Spun in Darkness/Gravewürm [USA]
Vengeance from Beyond the Grave
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
It’s been quite awhile since I last heard of the insane black/death/thrash metal band Gravewürm, with Blood of the Pentagram already 2 years old. The news of a new split release with fellow American death metal band Spun in Darkness came as a rather nice surprise then, complete with the stench of death and putrefaction from the excellent artwork by Mark Riddick on Vengeance from Beyond the Grave.
The only question that remains in such an instance is usually the musical quality, but Spun in Darkness certainly does not disappoint as they open the split with In Your Grave. A wall of sound crashes onto the listener right from the start, as the band tortures the listener’s ear with their brand of death metal. There is a slight Incantation influence in the musical style of Spun in Darkness, what with the crushing, oppressive atmosphere and the riffing styles of guitarists Tom and Gene, alternating between heavily palm-muted chugging riffs and urgent trem-picked ones like on Temple to the Living God. The doom pace that the band moves at helps to make the entire experience all the more intense, allowing for the full impact of their music to crush the listener, especially on tracks like Part of You Becomes Part of Me. The random spoken and sound samples that the band included on their tracks also help enhance the experience, often sending chills down the listener’s back with the haunting effects that is created. Unfortunately though, things started getting somewhat draggy especially with Carnival Freak Show, a cover of bassist Paul’s previous band, Doom Snake Cult.
With Death Comes…, Gravewürm begins their turn of the aural onslaught. The riff-oriented style of playing, and that raw and gritty production, typical of the style of Gravewürm, is immediately familiar to fans of the band as Funeral begins. Funeral Grave’s blood-soaked vocals are still as gritty as ever, and the musical style is still extremely straightforward, with Gravewürm delivering messages of death and demise. Like previous releases, there is a lack of lead guitars on their contributions, with the entire focus on the grim mood and riffs that are unleashed. However, the band does include some variations in their songwriting like on Funeral, breaking the monotone that some might perceive with the constant mid-pace that the band usually goes at. For those unfamiliar with the band though, their side of the split might come across as overly flat, with tracks sounding somewhat similar to each other with that constant drum beat and tempo that lasts almost the entirety of their side of the split.
Overall though, Vengeance from Beyond the Grave has been a rather pleasing listening experience, and is perhaps a good introduction to Gravewürm‘s musical style. Spun in Darkness has also been quite a pleasant surprise, and would appeal to fans of underground death metal.
Interview with Gravewürm